It’s not supposed to end like this for one of the greatest mixed martial arts champions of our generation. Anderson “The Spider” da Silva is in danger of being branded as a lying, hypocritical steroid user. Two failed drug tests earlier this year could tarnish his entire career.
Silva has always vehemently denied using anabolic steroids but he has also gone above and beyond simple denials of steroid use. He has been outspoken about steroid use by other fighters. He has condemned steroid use in MMA in order to protect the children who watch MMA. He has advocated extremely harsh penalties, included lifetime suspensions, for fighters caught using steroids.
Now, the former UFC middleweight champion is in the same position as the fighters he has criticized over the years. Anderson da Silva has been labeled a steroid user after he tested positive for two anabolic steroid metabolites.
On February 3, 2015, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) announced that Silva failed a January 9, 2015 out-of-competition anti-doping test when metabolites of drostanolone and androstane were found in his urine. Drostanolone is the active ingredient in the steroid known as Masteron. Masteron is very popular because it does not convert to estrogen or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Estrogen and DHT are the culprits behind many of the common side effects of aromatizable anabolic steroids.
Just when Silva’s fans were willing to start accepting Silva’s strong denials about knowingly using anabolic steroids, Silva failed yet another anti-doping test. The results of his UFC 183 drug test administered after his fight with Nick Diaz revealed the presence of drostanolone once again. In addition, two additional prohibited drugs were found. The culprits were the anti-anxiety medication Oxazepam (Serax) and anti-insomnia medication temazepam (Restoril).
Silva has appealed the results and will offer his defense at a disciplinary hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) this fall. If he is unsuccessful, Silva could be banned for several years. This would effectively end the 40-year old’s MMA career in one of the worst possible ways.
The details of Silva’s defense have been the subject of much speculation. One thing that seems certain at this point is Silva adamant refusal to ever admit knowingly using anabolic steroids. Silva’s defense will claim that supplement contamination was responsible for the steroid positive involving both drostanolone and androstane.
Michael Alonso, the attorney representing Silva, filed a complaint with the NSAC that outlines his client’s defense strategy. Silva will apparently blame a Viagra-type erectile dysfunction supplement for the Masteron positive. Silva reportedly has the laboratory analysis of the supplement to prove it was contaminated with drostanolone. He blamed a second contaminated supplement for the androstane metabolites and claims to have similar laboratory confirmation of its contamination.
The complaint stated that Silva was “administering or using a supplement for the purpose of enhancing sexual performance and testing of the supplement revealed that the supplement was contaminated with an Exogenous Anabolic Agent: Drostanolone metabolite.”
While Silva does not want to admit using steroids under any circumstances, he is prepared to admit using several other (less demonized) drugs. For example, Silva admitted using a drug called Dexalgen during the fourth episode of UFC-produced “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4”. Silva respond to the steroid positives by saying Dexalgen was the only drug he had used.
Dexalgen is an injectable drug product containing 5-milligrams of hydroxocobalamin (Vitamin B-12) and 1-milligram of the corticosteroid dexamethasone. Dexalgen is manufactured by the São Paulo-based pharmaceutical company Europharma Laboratórios.
As part of Silva’s defense, he will accept the failed drug tests for the two benzodiazepines oxazepam and temazepam found in his post-fight drug test. However, he will claim that he only used them to help him with anxiety and insomnia and not to enhance his performance or gain an unfair advantage. Oxazepam and temazepam were allegedly prescribed by his doctor to help cope with and recover from back pain and muscle spasms that he had been experiencing upon his return from injury.
Silva is on the docket for a scheduled hearing before the NSAC on August 13, 2015. The ending of the final chapter of Silva’s career will be in the hands of the NSAC commissioners.